Illumask is a set of wearable products that all center around the technology of light therapy; they promise putting Illumask over your face for 15 minutes a day will get rid of either acne or wrinkles. Illumask claims that the LED lights they use are safe with no side effects and if used daily you will see dramatic results.
What Is Light Therapy?
Light therapy was originally invented by NASA, which found that red and infra red lights helped stimulate cell growth and showed promise for healing skin. This has given rise to its use by plastic surgeons who feel it helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles. When dealing with acne, blue light has been shown in certain laboratory studies to kill certain bacteria on the face, resulting in a clearer complexion.
At the consumer level, however, there is much less evidence that LED light therapy is as effective. For one, while a clinical device may have almost 2000 LEDs, consumer models have much less. In 2009, Good Housekeeping did a study of several at-home LED anti-aging devices and found them ineffective. An analysis published by the British Journal of Dermatology that same year concluded there was limited short-term benefit from using light therapy for acne.
How Illumask Works
Illumask looks like something you’d see in a science fiction (or perhaps horror) movie – it’s a featureless white mask. There are three different versions: the Anti-Aging, which states it uses infra red light LEDs and has no eye holes, the Acne, which uses blue and red LEDs and does have a cyborg-like eyehole, and the Eye Mask, which uses a patented light array and only covers the eye area.
To use any version of Illumask, they instruct you to put it on like you would a pair of glasses, activate with the controller button and relax for 15 minutes. They state Illumask will do the work for you, with the LED light gently clearing your complexion or making you look younger.
Illumasks come with a pre-programmed 30 charges, which they state you should use once a day until used up.
$29.95 for a 30-treatment mask, which includes free shipping. (The Eye Mask has a $9.95 shipping charge)
You also have the option of ordering a 90-treatment mask, which also includes an additional 30-treatment mask for $79.95 plus free shipping.
They also offer a 30-day “no risk” trial. They state you can try it for 30 days, and if you don’t like it you have an additional 15 days to return it for your money back, minus any S&H and what it costs you to ship back.
It should also be noted that when you buy Illumask, you are also agreeing to their “continuation program” (aka automatic re-shipment) of an Illumask every 30 or 90 days, depending on what you ordered (and you will be billed accordingly).
Bottom Line: Is Illumask a Worthy Product?
Generally speaking, consumers seem to see enjoy their Illumasks and report seeing results; it even got a positive review in The New York Times. But there are some important things to note:
First, this requires a subscription program as the Illumask is set to only emit a finite number of 15 minute sessions. This means you will be billed regularly for new controllers, which are shipped with more charges. Some have complained that this is not only expensive but also wasteful, but one clever consumer shared a way to “hack” the Illumask to reset it to 30.
Second, since this is a consumer item not as powerful as the one at the doctor’s office, results, if any, will perhaps take much longer.
Let us know what you think of Illumask. Did it help with your acne or wrinkles or did it just end up being your Halloween costume?